NAP im­ple­men­ta­tion

The Pak Banker - - 4EDITORIAL -

SINCE the ter­ror at­tack on Bacha Khan Univer­sity in Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa which killed 20 peo­ple a de­bate has been go­ing on in the coun­try about the poor im­ple­men­ta­tion of NAP. From the be­gin­ning of the year 2016 there has been no respite from the in­ces­sant at­tacks the ter­ror­ists have mounted against se­cu­rity forces, stu­dents, and or­di­nary cit­i­zens around the coun­try. Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial sources, more than 60 peo­ple have been killed and over 100 oth­ers wounded in the re­cent ter­ror strikes. A broad sec­tion of political and pub­lic opin­ion in the coun­try has at­trib­uted this spike to the fail­ure of the Na­tional Ac­tion Plan launched in the wake of Tal­iban as­sault on Pe­shawar's Army Pub­lic School in De­cem­ber 2014. In this con­nec­tion In­te­rior Min­is­ter Ch Nisar has come in for a lot of crit­i­cism for his fail­ure to im­ple­ment the NAP in let­ter and spirit.

An­a­lysts have pointed out that all the govern­ment has done since launch­ing NAP is to make greater use of mil­i­tary courts and hang those con­victed for ter­ror­ism-re­lated of­fences. But NAP is much more than this. It is in­deed a mat­ter of con­cern that even af­ter 12 months only one out of the 20 points of the NAP has been im­ple­mented in the form of Op­er­a­tion Zarb-e-Azb. Other ob­jec­tives and tar­gets out­lined in the NAP have turned out to be no more than empty rhetoric. An im­por­tant part of NAP was the for­ma­tion of a Na­tional Counter-ter­ro­r­iam Au­thor­ity but no se­ri­ous work has been done so far to give it con­crete shape. The dar­ing at­tack on Bacha Khan univer­sity also proved that the net­work of ter­ror­ists con­tin­ues to op­er­ate with clock­work pre­ci­sion as be­fore. The govern­ment has also not yet taken ef­fec­tive ac­tion to rein in the hate speech in mosques ad madres­sahs. As ev­ery­one knows, the cleric of Lal Masjid con­tin­ues to broad­cast his pro-IS mes­sage right in the middle of the coun­try's cap­i­tal with im­punity. An­other glar­ing slip­page is that the au­thor­i­ties con­cerned have failed to curb the ac­tiv­i­ties of the banned ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions which con­tinue their op­er­a­tions un­der new la­bels.

The govern­ment is said to have iden­ti­fied a large num­ber of religious schools get­ting fi­nan­cial sup­port from other coun­tries, but it is un­able to stop ter­ror fi­nanc­ing due to the com­pli­cated na­ture and hid­den chan­nels of money trans­fers. The reg­is­tra­tion of religious schools is un­der­way in the coun­try but no ac­tion has yet been taken to reg­u­late the education sys­tem in the madras­sas which is anachro­nis­tic and out of sync with the de­mands of the mod­ern age. Au­thor­i­ties have also not been able to dis­man­tle the com­mu­ni­ca­tion net­works of ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions as many banned out­fits, in­clud­ing sec­tar­ian or­ga­ni­za­tions, are run­ning their pro­pa­ganda cam­paigns by us­ing so­cial me­dia tools.

The fail­ure is all en­com­pass­ing and is at­trib­ut­able to Pak­istan's flawed strat­egy against ter­ror­ism. It is go­ing to be a long drawn war and we have to fight on mul­ti­ple fronts, in­clud­ing the cre­ation of a na­tional nar­ra­tive against ter­ror­ism. The harsh truth is that the mil­i­tants have over time gained a firm grip on the pub­lic mind. No doubt, through op­er­a­tion Zarb-e-Azb we are win­ning the phys­i­cal war against the mil­i­tants but we seem to be los­ing the ide­o­log­i­cal bat­tle against ter­ror­ism. This is proved by the ris­ing wave of ex­trem­ism in the coun­try. Over the last few months a large num­ber of Pak­ista­nis have left the coun­try to join the Is­lamic State in Syria/Iraq. Also, in open de­fi­ance of the State, the ex­trem­ist el­e­ments have held pub­lic demon­stra­tion to de­mand the re­lease of Mum­taz Qadri sen­tenced to death by the court for mur­der­ing Sal­man Taseer. The so­ci­ety as a whole seems to be get­ting more and more rad­i­cal­ized and we are not do­ing any­thing to com­bat the men­ace.

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